Australian dockers to strike at DP World over loss of pay protection

A four-port strike is set to hit DP World in Australia today (Friday March 22nd) according to Newark’s Journal of Commerce.

The industrial action has been a threat for some time after DP World, Australia’s biggest terminal operator, said that it would eliminate income protection insurance for workers under a proposed labour agreement that also included a 2.6% pay increase.

Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members voted to launch “industrial action” against DP World Australia, starting from March 22nd. Along with rolling strikes of between one and 24 hours, including bans on overtime and shift extensions. “Importers [and] exporters start feeling detrimental impacts if delays are extended beyond 12-24 hours, although with advance notice, transport operators can make alternative arrangements,” said Paul Zalai, director of the Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association, said.

The strike is limited to the DP World Australia-operated terminals at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Fremantle. But shippers fear the dispute could spread to terminals operated by other companies if cargo owners and container attempt to divert cargo normally handled by DP World to those facilities.

In February Australia’s Fair Work Commission had approved the union’s application to go ahead with industrial action, but said that union must give DP World five days’ notice of any strike action.